England opener Dom Sibley will return to the fight for Warwickshire against Essex from Thursday after more than a month of absence with a broken finger.
Sibley broke the middle finger of his right hand losing a grip in the second round of the County Championship to Nottinghamshire and missed the Bears’ last three Group 1 games.
He was still part of England’s 15-man squad for the two home test series in New Zealand next month and now hopes to impress in what will be his only outing before the opening test at Lord’s on June 2.
Sibley fought for races in Sri Lanka and India this winter with just two 50s in 12 innings and eight single-digit scores, but received a vote of confidence from head coach Chris Silverwood.
Silverwood said: “Sibbers has been exceptional for us opening the stick, so we’ll be keeping an eye on his fitness. There are a lot of miles to go for him, so to speak.
“We played Sibley, Rory Burns and Zak Crawley at one, two and three and it was very successful. I can see a situation where the three potentially return to their places. «
James Bracey is the other option among the England team’s top three, in addition to Sibley, Burns and Crawley, with the 24-year-old called up after scoring 478 points with an average of over 50 for Gloucestershire this season.
The left-hander will play for his county against Somerset this week as the top two in Group 2 face off in Bristol – top-of-the-table Gloucestershire are four points ahead of Somerset and have come one game less.
Other English players in action will be James Anderson of Lancashire, who is eight wickets away from 1000 at first class cricket ahead of Red Rose’s Group 3 match at Northamptonshire.
Watch Surrey vs Middlesex live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10:30 am Thursday.
The first test between England and New Zealand is live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10:30 am on Wednesday June 2nd.